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A Darling Designer (and Mom), Christine Castro Hughes

We’re constantly amazed at how moms can raise kids, be impromptu doctors, playmates and entertainers–all while pursuing their own personal interests.

In honor of the upcoming Mother’s day, we reached out to one of our favorite cool moms around the Poketo world. An illustrator, designer and crafter who took the scenic route to becoming an artist, Christine’s work is defined by a sense of lighthearted beauty and a sense of warmth not usually found on the web. Say hello to Christine Castro Hughes, proprietress of Darling Design, wife of Rama Hughes (also a Poketo collaborator) and one of the artists behind our 826LA wallet series:

So, for those who don’t know you, how would you sum up Christine Castro Hughes?
I am a designer, artist, writer, mama and klutz. I run Darling Design, a creative studio dedicated to websites, branding and custom invites and stationery.

Klutz? How so?
I’m not as graceful as I’d like. I am known to trip and run into things more often than the usual gal!

What doesn’t kill you right? :)
Exactly. :)

What’s the story behind the name Darling Design?
Well, when I started the business over 6 years ago, I asked myself what made me different from other designers and what I wanted to convey to future clients. Firstly, I loved that the word “darling” just sounded warm, charming and a bit nostalgic, which is how I also thought of my style. But I also loved that it had a double meaning– that it was a term of endearment. It just sounded sweet and right to me.

That’s cool. You also have the distinction of being one of the first bloggers in the world, right? What was that like?
I was definitely one of the earlybirds. I started maganda.org in 2000, but had another online journal on free webspace before that. The term “blogger” wasn’t even coined until after I’d been writing online for a while, so it’s still hard for me to think of myself as one. It was so much fun. I met some amazing writers and artists through my site, and there was an energy permeating everyone’s work. We knew we were onto something good. At first I was fairly anonymous–my family didn’t even know about my site–but my site gained popularity somehow. I was even nominated for a Webby award, which was such a surreal surprise.

Aside from being a one-woman show at Darling Design, you also have a darling of your own right?
Yes, I have one son named Henry. He’s 20 months old and the coolest kid I know. (Yes, I’m a little biased!) He is joyful, compassionate, funny and strong, and he is so much fun to be around. He likes music, people and horsing around. You’d better stop me, because I could go on and on…!

Haha. Okay, he sounds really cool.
I’m also pregnant with our second child, a girl, due in July.

Wow. Congratulations! Any names for your little girl yet?
It’s a surprise. :) But, for kicks, we call her Google Arugula.

How has motherhood changed your life?
My life has changed in every imaginable way. For starters, I am up a lot earlier and seem no longer able to sleep in past 8am (even when I’m given the chance)! My heart expanded to love this new little guy more than I knew I could. I have learned how to be more patient, more flexible, more creative, too–and I’m still learning.

How do you juggle being a mom and an entrepreneur?
It’s tough! My parents come to watch Henry twice a week and my husband Rama spends time with Henry once a week on his day off, so I have at least three full work days. Then I squeeze work in whenever else I can, during nap time or in the evenings if I have to. If I’m on a deadline, I work weekends but I generally try not to. I am so lucky to have my family’s help. I don’t know how I’d do it otherwise.

So, have any Poketo stuff been useful for your work at Darling Design or as a mom?
Definitely. A few of my favorite Poketo items are from their Target collection. I’d been looking for a laptop sleeve for ages and was instantly smitten with the one by Betsy Walton.

I also take my Melissa Contreras water bottle with me everywhere (it sits in my bag alongside Henry’s sippy cup). Both are items that I truly need, but they’re so beautiful, too.

If you were on the receiving end of this Mother’s day, what would you want to get?
On Poketo.com? I am loving the new scarves and would be thrilled to receive any of them. Elsewhere? A massage!

Christine’s darling style remind you of your mom? Shop poketo.com for the perfect gift this Mother’s day.
More from Christine Castro Hughes at darlingstudio.com. And check out her latest blog, Brunchwithdarling.com, she did an interview with Poketo there!

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